December 22, 2018 / 5:04 PM / 10 months ago

Soccer-Fulham dig deep to deny Newcastle and earn first clean sheet

* Newcastle United draw 0-0 with Fulham

* First clean sheet of the season for London side

* Few chances for either side in drab contest

* Lascelles deflected header cleared off line in first half

* Newcastle had two penalty appeals turned down

* Fulham defend with fierce intensity but remain bottom

* Newcastle travel to Anfield on Boxing Day, while Fulham welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers


Dec 22 (Reuters) - Fulham secured their first clean sheet of the season with some dogged defending in a 0-0 draw with Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday.

The hosts, looking for a second successive win, were unable to find a way past a Fulham side who remain bottom of the standings but have stopped shipping goals at the rate they did before coach Claudio Ranieri succeeded Slavisa Jokanovic.

That was almost undone after 20 minutes at St James’ Park as a header from Jamaal Lascelles took a deflection off Fulham striker and ex-Newcastle man Aleksandar Mitrovic and was going in before being hooked off the line.

Newcastle had a penalty appeal turned down before halftime with a Matt Ritchie shot appearing to hit the hand of defender Calum Chambers, although referee Martin Atkinson was not convinced.

Rafa Benitez’s side continued to pump balls into the area in the second half ,looking to find the head of striker Salomon Rondon, but the Venezuelan could not carve out a clear-cut chance.

Newcastle had another appeal for a penalty late on when Kenedy felt he was pulled by Fulham’s Joe Bryan in the box. However, again, the hosts were denied a spot kick as the match finished in a stalemate leaving them 14th in the standings. (Reporting by Christian Radnedge; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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